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Holy petunias

By Ian Stewart   May 2009

“Father Abbot?”

“Yes, Brother Uthelfrith?”

“Tomorrow at sunrise we perform the Rite of the Holy Flowerpots, in memory of Saint Sythelthwyth the Unpronounceable.”

“That is correct, Brother.”

“I have consulted The Book of the Divine Garden. This year’s sacred bloom is the petunia and the holy colours are pink and purple. I have found the flowers and cleaned the 25 marble slabs that form the Sacred Square of Saints in the garden.”

“Well done, Brother.”

“My pardon, Father, but there are two things the book does not prescribe.”

The abbot nodded. “The number of pots to be…

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